Calling anyone with knowledge of roo behavior!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Alexandra33, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. Alexandra33

    Alexandra33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here's my odd situation: I've got this Mille Fleur d'Uccle cockerel who's almost 16 weeks of age, and he's been incredibly attached to me since day 1. As a chick, I couldn't seem to keep him off of me, and things really haven't changed even now that he's becoming a young roo. To say that he loves me to pieces isn't accurate; he loves me a little too much! [​IMG] He'll stand by the fence and wait for me during the day, and once I do appear, he's right there demanding to be snuggled. If I don't cuddle him long enough to satisfy his craving for attention, he bites me quite hard as an expression of his displeasure. (which I don't tolerate) BUT, this is a very docile cockerel who will let boisterous little kids hold him and is very gentle/affectionate towards the 14 pullets in his age group. He really is a very good boy thus far; MUCH better than the others. (with the exception of the other Mille Fleur cockerel)

    Now for the strange part; Piranha has become intensely protective of me as of late, almost the way he is with his little group of adoring pullets. He won't let the other cockerels get close to me without standing in between, he gets extremely angry with the playful barn cat who likes to grab my legs, and just tonight, our friendly grown LF hens rushed me, and he began attacking them. My fear is that he sees me as "his," and therefore, he'll be more likely to try and put me in my place or attack me later on. Does that appear to be the case here? And is there anything I should be doing so that he realizes I'm not one of his girls, but rather a human caretaker?

    Thanks so much,

    ~Alex
     
  2. CluckYeah8908

    CluckYeah8908 Out Of The Brooder

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    That's a very interesting situation. My advice would be to distance yourself from him a little bit at a time. Wean him from you slowly. Don't give into him. It does sound like he sees you as a hen and it's possible he might "put you in your place" once he gets older. Just keep correcting him when he bites and like I said try and distance yourself a little more each day until he learns you're the caretaker.
     
  3. Choco Maran

    Choco Maran Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He see you as a hen and not the flock leader. He needs to be brought down a peg or two. Distance yourself from him and only pick him up on your terms not his. Correct him if he does bad, attacks you bites you, protects you from other hens. Any thing a other head rooster would do to him you need to do. He will increasing get more aggressive towards others he sees as a threat including the kids that hold him. Get this problem under control as soon as possible before it gets to late
     
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  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    The previous posters are right on with their advice. Heed it! Also, your instincts are accurate as you are realizing you may be facing a serious problem with this "attentive" guy.

    It's not too late to avoid having a real problem cockerel on your hands. Four months is the usual point at which the hormones become active, and a young cockerel will begin to view everything through the haze of these surging hormones, sometimes undergoing a significant personality change.

    What I recommend is, from this day forward, ignore your cockerel. Don't talk to him, don't look at him, do not handle or touch him unless it's absolutely necessary such as noticing he is walking with a limp and you need to inspect his feet for injuries.

    When he pecks you on the leg, immediately "peck" him on his back to indicate to him he's behaving wrongly. No chattering and scolding, just resume ignoring him.

    You need to establish a total separation of your role with the flock and his role, and leave him alone to grow into his. He needs to see you are flock caretaker but you are not in any way in competition with him. You do this by refusing to interact with him except to quickly discipline him.
     
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  5. Alexandra33

    Alexandra33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you all so very much for the advice. I hate to admit this, but it's going to be really hard on me to distance myself from my Piranha. He's become one of my very favorites out of our large flock, and I've really gotten attached to him and his (generally) sweet disposition. But, if it comes down to two choices, either continuing to coddle him and paving the way for aggression down the road, or ignoring him and keeping the nice boy around, I would choose the latter simply because I love him. It's for the better! [​IMG] Again, I value all your opinions in my situation more than you know.

    ~Alex
     
  6. Donna R Raybon

    Donna R Raybon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2016

    I have never had a rooster who was a sweetie like you describe turn aggressive towards people. However I do respect them in that if I have to cause upset to hen, I remove rooster. Like when we do NPIP testing i pen rooster out of sight and we test them last. When i worked for state as a NPIP tester and did gamefowl farms with hundreds of rooster tied out on barrells they were easiest birds to do because they were used to be handled. They would drop their wing and dance/coo at owner as he picked them up. Those birds were gorgeous, and waited on hand and foot. Out of nearly 300 there might be a couple of 'man haters.' I asked about this as i remember all the mean roosters of my youth. Gamefowl people said they don't tolerate a man hater an feel it is genetic. They love their roosters and roosters love them.
     
  7. Alexandra33

    Alexandra33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you, also, for your input! [​IMG] Very interesting pieces of information.

    Another concern has arisen since I've tried "ignoring" my cockerel; he's been used to receiving lots of love from his owners since the day he hatched, and now that I've tried avoiding him, he's become ultra stressed and worked up to the point of desperation. I'm afraid this is only going to make the problem worse as I've noticed that roos don't like change AT ALL. At one point, I walked right past him when he ran over to me and begged to be picked up, and he immediately turned around and attacked one of the hens. It was almost as if he was taking his frustration out on her. But when I finally scooped him up a couple hours later, he relaxed visibly and really enjoyed letting my mom and little brother stroke him. I honestly think this little boy would shrivel up and die if he didn't get his daily dose of love.

    ~Alex
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    You know, when all is said and done, you know your cockerel best, and it's your decision how to proceed.

    Chickens are unique personalities, and no two are exactly alike. Let your cockerel's behavior dictate how you will treat him. As long as he's behaving like a cuddle-bum and he's not trying to flog you, then go ahead and continue as you have.

    Just be aware that he's only just beginning to come into his hormones at four months. In another month or two, he may change. If he begins to resist being handled, then you will know to back off immediately.
     
  9. Alexandra33

    Alexandra33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I couldn't agree more. [​IMG]

    No, he's never once shown aggression towards me, or any other human for that matter.

    I'm definitely seeing the effects of that change in action, especially in our other cockerels. We're actually considering separating them from the girls as a result of their insanity. Yes, I will absolutely be on the lookout for signs that he's beginning to dislike my attentions. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to me!

    ~Alex
     
  10. Donna R Raybon

    Donna R Raybon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The couple that owned those gamefowl were in their fifties. They had almost 300 out on barrels that got clean water and food twice a day. If below freezing they got more or if real hot. No automatic system either. They measured out food and made sure all was consumed, checked each for any issues and cleaned, filled water cups. Their family had been keeping gamefowl for well over a hundred years and had historical records tracing bird lineages much further. You could just stand there and look at a bird looking at you and see the intelligence and personality.

    And the building where they had breeding pens set up? Cleaner than most people's home! They really did right by those birds. I always say if I had to be reborn a chicken, let it be one of theirs! One old bird was over 12 years old and very much thought of by the couple.

    Go read about raising gamefowl if you want to understand a rooster. Especially the old timers, read their stories. They understood genetics long before science spelled it out and kept various lineages going strong for hundreds, if not thousands of years.
     

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